Invisalign is a set of discrete, removable aligners, used to straighten teeth that are individually manufactured specifically for your teeth. Each aligner moves teeth incrementally and causes the teeth to gradually move into the desired position. They are replaced every two weeks, by the next in the series, until the final position is achieved.
The aligners are comfortable, clear and easily removable and more discreet than clear braces. Invisalign is a great option for many patients looking to improve their smile and treats a range of straightening issues including overcrowded teeth, widely spaced teeth, underbites, overbites and crossbites. The aligners are less likely to stain as they are removed for eating and drinking – it is therefore easier to maintain good oral hygiene.
Why is Invisalign so popular?
• Virtually invisible, for less obvious straightening
• No wires or brackets stuck annoyingly to your teeth
• Removable – for unhindered tooth cleaning and eating
• No allergy issues
What happens during treatment?
The procedure starts with an initial consultation between you and the orthodontist. He or she will examine your teeth and take an impression of your teeth to check whether they can be straightened using the Invisalign System. Once confirmed a complete, 3d virtual treatment plan will be created which will show the series of movements your teeth will go through over the course of your treatment. This will allow you to fully understand how your teeth will look at each stage of the process.
Unlike clear braces, which are worn for the whole orthodontic treatment period, each set of custom-made aligners is worn in two week increments for around 20-22 hours per day. This means that Invisalign aligners are less prone to damage and breaks. Your Invisalign Provider will monitor your progress to ensure you are comfortable with your treatment. Post-treatment you may notice you have a slight lisp for a little while although this should disappear after a little while.
Will it take long?
Treatment times will depend on the individual but, unlike good old fashioned fixed braces which can take up to 18 months, most Invisalign® cases are sorted in just 6-12 months. After your teeth have been gently moved into line, you will have to wear a retainer to keep your smile in place. After all, you want to protect your orthodontic investment and make sure those teeth stay put!
Does it hurt?
Treatment with Invisalign is generally more comfortable than traditional treatment with clear braces. The aligners are made from smooth, soft plastic which is much kinder to the soft tissue than clear braces which can often irritate your mouth and gums due to the roughness of the brackets. However, you may encounter some minor tenderness or sense of pressure initially though this should recede as treatment progresses.
What is the cost?
Typically the cost is comparable to traditional fixed braces and starts at around £2500 and ranges up to around £4500.
Most doctors recommend that anyone who has completed orthodontic treatment use a retainer to prevent teeth from moving back towards their initial position – it is therefore recommended to wear some form of a retainer post-treatment.